WTR Global Leaders 2021

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Welcome to the third edition of WTR Global Leaders, a unique publication that brings together the world’s foremost law firm and corporate trademark experts, allowing the wider community to benefit from their insight, experience and perspectives.

WTR Global Leaders draws on our market-leading research projects – the WTR 1000 and the WTR 300 – to identify the best of the best in trademark practice.

The WTR 1000 research directory, which focuses exclusively on law firm trademark practices and practitioners, identifies the leading players in more than 80 key jurisdictions globally. To do this, our full-time research team spent four months corresponding and conducting interviews with hundreds of lawyers, attorneys and their clients involved with trademarks, as well as gathering written submissions from firms detailing their recent activity in the field.

To qualify for inclusion in WTR Global Leaders, individuals must be ranked in the gold tier of the WTR 1000. Meanwhile, for those from the corporate world, inclusion is based on listings in the WTR 300.

For this part of the project, WTR ran a three-month campaign to elicit nominations from the community. Only individuals who received multiple nominations from outside their own organisation were longlisted for consideration. The team then conducted additional research before deciding on the final list. Many nominees did not receive the requisite number of nominations or make it through the vetting process; those who did are included in WTR Global Leaders, reflecting their top-tier status in the corporate brand environment.

The individuals who feature in this year’s WTR Global Leaders merit special attention owing not only to their expertise and experience in creating, protecting, managing and enforcing essential brand rights, but also to their ability to innovate, inspire and go above and beyond to deliver for their clients. For this publication, WTR then invited a select number of these elite professionals to reflect on their professional journey and offer insights and guidance into career development, practice management and trademark industry trends. 

Collectively, these insights stand as a testament to the diversity and depth of expertise that exists in the trademark world. Individually, they provide critical strategic takeaways for their peers and colleagues.

I hope that you enjoy their unique perspectives and strategic insights.

Articles

WTR Global Leaders: Private Practice

WTR Global Leaders: Corporate Trademark

Juan Carlos Amaro

Becerril Coca & Becerril SC
Clients always expect fast responses but they also need top-quality service and responses that benefit from deep knowledge of their specific industry needs.

Safir Anand

Anand and Anand
In the next five years India will enjoy substantial growth in the brand protection space through the help of AI. It is a game-changing technology that is bound to have a significant impact on IP law.

Roma Arora

Havells India Limited
Technological convergence will have an impact on existing products and accelerate the introduction of new products. It will stimulate creation and facilitate the growth of small-scale companies with innovative ideas.

Paul Asiimwe

Sipi Law Associates
African brands are ripe for commercialisation on a wider scale. All over the continent, innovative solutions are cropping up and the franchising mode may need to be adopted in order to optimise opportunity.

Antonella Carminatti

BMA – Barbosa, Müssnich, Aragão
A successful IP litigator needs good communication skills – both written and oral – and the ability to work alone.

George Chan

Simmons & Simmons
While the practice of law, or more specifically IP law, might not be for everyone, I see it as a means to attribute value to human qualities such as expression, ideas and distinctiveness, which makes it easy to find a purpose in what we do.

Spring Chang

Chang Tsi & Partners
It is challenging yet fascinating to keep one’s expertise up to date in the IP field, which is ever changing. I am excited and filled with a sense of accomplishment when developing and enforcing strategies tailored for my clients in China and overseas.

Rahul Chaudhry

Rahul Chaudhry & Partners
It is important for key stakeholders to adopt effective mechanisms to tackle the challenges faced by the e-commerce industry, particularly the sale of counterfeit products online.

Tiki Dare

Oracle Corporation
My obligation at this point in my career is to pay that forward and support others. Convening the INTA presidential task force on DEI is an opportunity for me to fulfil that promise.

Colette Durst

3M Innovative Properties Company
There is a significant need to raise awareness about the dangers of counterfeiting; there is no such thing as a safe counterfeit.

Karen L Elburg

Herzog Fox & Neeman
It is my belief that in order to develop a successful career as an IP lawyer, you must be an excellent commercial lawyer, with a good grounding in contract and corporate law, as well as a lot of patience and a good sense of humour.

Christoph Gasser

BianchiSchwald LLC
Online arbitration courts have certainly proven themselves in practice, especially because they can quickly lead to mediation, are relatively inexpensive and often comprise experienced and, above all, expert judges.

Deborah A Hampton

The Chemours Company FC, LLC
Diversity, equity and inclusion will continue to be a focus around the world. As highlighted in the Women’s LeadershIP Report, women – including black, indigenous and women of colour – are underrepresented in the IP sector, particularly in leadership positions.

Mark Hiddleston

Hiddleston Trade Marks
Continuing to trade in difficult circumstances was a success in its own right. More significantly, we also managed to open our Portuguese office, which has been operating since 1 January 2021 to service our EUIPO work post-Brexit.

Lara Kayode

O Kayode & Co
Despite the prevailing circumstances, clients are demanding that their rights be protected regardless, and we have been able to fill the gap to ensure that this happens.

Michael G Kelber

Neal Gerber Eisenberg
Our firm is blessed with a creative, talented and intelligent core group of professionals, and it is an honour to have them as colleagues. Effective leadership rests on strengthening our team by helping people to identify opportunities and achieve their own successes.

Yasemin Kenaroğlu

Kenaroğlu Avukatlik Burosu
As a litigator, you need to know your case much better than the judge, the attorney for the counterparty and anyone else involved in the matter. And you need to believe in that case even more than your client does.

Nigel King

Standard Chartered
Keeping an open mindset is vital in intellectual property, as it is in any area of law that constantly grapples with the ever-evolving consequences of digitisation and innovation.

Margret Knitter

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
The rise of social media and the development of influencer marketing requires the surveillance of social media and the Internet in general. Therefore, brand protection agencies not only have to keep an eye on trademark registers, but also on a vast number of other sources.

Robyn Lederman

Brooks Kushman PC
Brand owners must consider how trademarks will be perceived in society and even if a registration is possible, it is more important to avoid offending a specific group of people.

Michael J Leonard

Fox Rothschild LLP
The most important thing for SMEs to remember is that they must first secure IP protection in trademarks or names that are sufficiently distinctive or arbitrary so as to enable them to establish a high level of brand equity in that mark or name.

Ai-Leen Lim

AWA Asia
The best advice for a career in intellectual property is to realise from the outset that you need to go beyond the law and understand your client’s business, needs, strategy and future plans.

James Luo

Lawjay Partners
With the rapid acceleration of the digital economy, which was further hastened by the pandemic, thousands of counterfeiters have set up shop on various Chinese e-commerce platforms. Brand owners should hire specialists to remove links to, and take down, infringing websites.

Ugreson Maistry

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC Global Development GmbH)
Understanding the true potential and value in certifications and ecolabels is on the rise generally and is being used by IP owners to capture economic benefits and to help protect natural forest heritage.

Vladimir Marenovic

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners
The Internet knows no physical bounds. With so much information at our fingertips, everything suddenly seems more accessible. As a result, trademark owners are facing more and more issues involving the trade of counterfeit products online.

Paul McGrady

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
The big news is the upcoming implementation of the Trademark Modernisation Act, which is meant to clear dead wood off the USPTO registry. I expect that this will make trademarks less settled as some come under attack under the new provisions.

Nicole K McLaughlin

Duane Morris LLP
By learning about my clients’ businesses, which span numerous industries, I have become trusted to assist in making branding business decisions. This includes helping them to create trademarks, market brands, develop packaging, write promotional materials and create trade dress.

Djura Mijatovic

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners
I find working with clients that come from different industries and parts of the world deeply inspiring. It is exciting to learn about their interests and look for creative solutions to satisfy their needs.

Camille Miller

Cozen O’Connor
Brand owners cannot ignore online enforcement as it can have a significant impact on the brand’s goodwill and in some instances, as with pharmaceuticals and consumer products, it can be a consumer safety issue.

Hugo Morán R

MORAN IP
I am a true believer in knowledge sharing. For this reason, the exchange of intelligence and training by IP owners has become an effective strategy in the fight against illicit trade and counterfeiting. It is the only way to ensure that Customs has the tools that it needs to carry out effective border measures.

Russell C Pangborn

Seed Intellectual Property Law Group LLP
Effective leadership provides vision, inspiration and direction. Effective leadership also involves being prudent, fiscally responsible and focused. It enables individuals to thrive and provides autonomy to team members, allowing them to succeed, while helping to right the course when folks drift.

Elliot Papageorgiou

Gowling WLG
The continued rise in trademark filing subsidies, initially introduced as early as 2013 and then generously expanded by provincial and city governments, has led to unprecedented levels of Chinese applicants filing abroad.

Marina Perraki

Tsibanoulis & Partners Law Firm
The increase in online transactions during the pandemic has further attracted the attention of online counterfeiters as it has offered a wider environment in which to operate.

Andrew D Price

Venable LLP
It has been thrilling to share Venable’s new WellbrandTM service with the world since its launch in early 2021. A first-of-its-kind service, Wellbrand leverages the trademark law know-how of our team to help clients accelerate the process of finding effective, available brand names.

Anette Rasmussen

AWA
I have been working with some of my clients for more than 20 years and long-lasting client relationships are something that I take great pride in and strive to achieve. Of course, it has to do with trust, but also focusing on your client’s interests.

Michael Ritscher

MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep Ltd
Challenging mandates, a high level of personal responsibility, an intensive exchange in a well functioning team, quick feedback from the boss and a human environment in which working is a pleasure are crucial.

Peter Ruess

ARNOLD RUESS
In our business, clients do not litigate for small stakes and consequently do not embark on lawsuits lightly. To be part of this process, to plot and strategise along with our clients and colleagues, is what makes our profession so exciting.

Shunji Sato

TMI Associates
The covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected clients’ filing budgets yet their demands for the use of technology in the legal and IP industry are increasing. Smaller companies are increasingly choosing trademark firms that provide cloud-based online filing services at lower prices.

Jürg Simon

Lenz & Staehelin
Our tasks are regularly embedded in highly complex and abstract legal dogmatics, yet they usually concern tangible everyday products and services. I enjoy being challenged in an interdisciplinary way and working with clients and colleagues from a wide range of specialisms and industries.

James Sweeting

Superdry plc
Intellectual property is such a fundamental part of ensuring that brands are successfully positioned to protect and monetise their creativity successfully. Brand protection is not just about money and protecting revenue though. It is about doing the right thing.

Anthony Tong

Robin Bridge & John Liu
I am proud to be the lead counsel for a Hong Kong-listed client in prosecuting and defending more than 80 contemporaneous national and EU trademark-related proceedings against the same defendants in 15 European jurisdictions.

Marc H Trachtenberg

Greenberg Traurig LLP
My advice to anyone considering a career in intellectual property is to get a non-legal job before going to law school, ideally but not necessarily in a field that you are interested in. The business experience that you gain will help you to better serve your clients because what they really want are solutions to their business problems – not necessarily a legal solution.

Simone Verducci Galletti

Bugnion SpA
The independence and freedom of approach that each Bugnion partner enjoys allows us to respond to every kind of client and every type of request and is a resource that continually enables us to innovate our consultancy approach, which is oriented towards problem solving and cost-effective strategic construction.

Amy Wright

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
I love direct consultations with clients and teaching them more than they ever wanted to know about intellectual property. I especially love how much they seem to appreciate it.

Mike Yaghmai

Facebook
As a leader within my organisation, I dedicate a noteworthy portion of my time to such work and often press my team managers and peers at other companies to do the same. It takes commitment and prioritisation, but as leaders in the industry it is crucial for us to focus on this to help the next group of outstanding leaders rise and carry things forward.

Daniel Zohny

FIFA
FIFA’s brand protection programme has always put an emphasis on creating awareness of intellectual property. We believe that it is more beneficial to spend efforts on educating the public than having to enforce against innocent infringers who may simply not be aware of having crossed a line.